Penn founded Pennsylvania as a "Holy Experiment" under Charles II. He was a well-known proponent of religious freedom and tolerance in England and parts of Europe, specifically as a Quaker. His convictions landed him in jail serveral times. He wrote No Cross, No Crown while imprisoned in the Tower of London. As is the case with most who carry the truth of the gospel so passionately, he spent much time in prison for what he believed.
More than 400 thoughts on life, written over 300 years ago by the founder of Pennsylvania, that are still relevant today.
- Applewood Books
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- 7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 0.37(d)
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I loved Taylor's historical introduction. It really opened things up for me; I didn¿t have a clue about what was happening back then, and it really set the work in context. Penn was fascinating; this introduction left me wanting to know more about him. Unlike some contemporary writers, here¿s a guy giving wise advice who¿s really lived it. Penn¿s Fruits of Solitude are a very enjoyable collection of contemplative, proverbial insights¿good material to muse on. I normally find older writings difficult, but Taylor¿s editing has made this very readable. Highly recommended!
Penn has some relevant things to say, but unfortunately this version (Applewood) is in the original language -- that is, it's 300 years old. If you want something more readable (and understandable), check out a recently published edition by Herald Press (ISBN: 0836192052, March 2003; Eric Taylor, Editor). Taylor has done a great job of modernized the text without dumbing it down. There's a great historical introduction, a bunch of endnotes, and More Fruits of Solitude which the Applewood version does not include. For my money, the Taylor version is the better choice.
Excellent introduction. Wonderful collection of Penn sayings in modern English.
Some Fruits of Solitude offers a brilliant compendium of timeless wisdom from a man of deep faith, exceptional energy, and uncanny insight into the human condition, who used his time of enforced isolation to put those insights into a concise, practical treatise. The value of Penn's wisdom, however, could well have been wasted on the 21st century reader who would struggle with the archaic 17th century English in which the original was written. Eric Taylor has done the modern reader a tremendous service by conscientiously re-rendering Penn's thoughts and meanings in language that is fully comprehensible to us. In our modern American society we are bombarded by messages that flow out of a secular humanist mindset overlain with self-centered hedonistic values. It is difficult to find a coherent spokesman for deeper values of character, faith and altruism. Most of us are too busy and too preoccupied with ¿fitting in,¿ to dwell on concepts that challenge questionable societal norms. It is profitable, therefore, for us to hear from a contemplative thinker like William Penn who can examine human existence, its value and purpose, from a perspective that is untainted by many of the corruptive influences of today¿s culture. Thanks to Eric Taylor¿s scholarly labors, we can now read Penn¿s thoughts in language that is fully comprehensible. Not only would we find terms and modes of expression in Penn¿s original writing that we would not understand, but there would be terms that sound familiar to us whose meanings have changed over time. Through his scholarship Taylor has opened the work to us and eliminated the linguistic pitfalls that could undermine our understanding of Penn¿s admonitions. This book should be considered an essential element in the personal library of any person sincerely interested in pursuing wisdom and required reading wherever the issue of values forms part of an academic curriculum.
Penn's original version of Some Fruits of Solitude contains some thought provoking reflections--on simplicity, on how we live and speak, on virtue and integrity and morality--but the 300 year old language is cumbersome and sometimes unclear. Taylor's carefully edited version makes this classic much more readable and understandable. Well-worth owning and periodically re-reading.